Orange County Burn Injury Lawyer
As seasoned Orange County burn injury lawyers, we know that burn injuries are some of the most painful, complex, and traumatic injuries one can suffer. Severe burn injuries are treated by surgical teams within specialized burn treatment centers equipped to deal with this type of injury. It is not uncommon for burn injuries to require 12 to 18 months to finish healing, causing highly expensive medical bills.
What Kind of Burn Injuries Are There?
There are more types of burns than just those that are caused by fire.
Inhaling smoke can burn your mouth, throat, and lungs. Caustic chemicals can burn you if they touch your skin. Exposure to extremely hot surfaces can cause thermal burns. Electricity can cause electrical burns. Sunlight or an artificial source of UV light can cause different degrees of burns. Radiation from nuclear energy plants and other sources cause radiation burns too.
The most common causes of severe burns at home and work include:
- Hot liquids or steam
- Hot grease
- Hot surfaces
Burns fall into four basic categories, according to their severity:
- First degree, or mild surface-level burns
- Second degree, which penetrate the top two layers of your skin
- Third-degree, or full-thickness burns that penetrate your skin and often the tissues beneath
- Fourth degree, which damage the skin, fat, muscle and bone tissue
There is also a standard system for assessing the burn’s size based on the total body surface it affects. For example, a 50 percent burn would cover half of your skin surface. It would classify as severe and possibly life-threatening.
Other factors in assessing the severity of a burn injury include your age, the location of the injury, whether other traumatic injury has also occurred, and whether you have complicating health conditions. These might include such chronic illnesses as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Your burn injury attorney can help clarify how these factors affect your personal injury claim.
How Common Are Burn Injuries?
Fatal injuries from burns and smoke inhalation occur more frequently than you might think. Every two and a half hours, somebody in the U.S. dies from severe burns. The good news is that in 2018 alone, 90 percent of those who sought medical care for burns at the nation’s ERs received treatment but did not require hospitalization.
If your burns are severe, affect a significant percentage of your body surface and/or involve internal damage, you likely will need to go to a burn center. About 97 percent of burn center patients survive, but many are left with significant scars and long-term physical or mental disabilities. Lifelong treatment for these after effects can cripple your family financially.
Even if you get treatment in an emergency room and go home, you still face medical costs. You will likely need a fire recovery service to clean up at your home. If you have smoke damage, you may have to replace your furniture, clothing, and other belongings.
If causal factors like faulty wiring, a gas leak, or human error resulted in the fire and your injuries, you do not have to suffer economically too. A personal injury attorney that specializes as a burn injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you are legally due.
The Costs of Recovery from Burn Injuries
In terms of immediate costs, for each one percent of body surface affected, an average patient stays one day in the hospital. This typically costs about $10,000 per day. If you have internal burns from inhalation, your stay time quadruples. The average cost of hospital treatment for burns in 2016 was $24,000. All in all, Americans spend billions of dollars annually on medical treatment for burn injuries.
During your initial recovery period, you may have to return to the hospital for multiple skin graft operations. This means time off from work, too. You might need treatment for an infection that develops at your burn sites.
In addition, over the longer term, you may require physical therapy, psychotherapy, or a combination of both to deal with the fallout from your accident. You may also need prescription medications. If you have a chronic disease, your burns could worsen your physical condition to the point of permanent disability, resulting in loss of income. A qualified burn injury lawyer can help you calculate your present and future costs.
Do You Qualify for Compensation?
Unlike an accident where you can clearly determine who is at fault, determining liability for personal injury cases involving a burn injury is more complicated. Perhaps propane was leaking from your neighbor’s faulty space heater. When your neighbor lit a match, it caused an explosion that generated severe heat and clouds of smoke. The heat and smoke penetrated your apartment door, which was supposed to be fireproof. In this case, the manufacturer of the heater, the resident who lit the match, and a negligent landlord could all have some degree of liability.
In cases of severe burn injuries, it helps to have an attorney sort out liability with your insurance company.
The Orange County Burn Injury Lawyers at Kubota & Craig Can Help
Each case is different, but if you get injured in an accident caused by someone else, you have a legal right to compensation. In Orange County, contact our Irvine burn injury attorneys at the Law Firm of Kubota & Craig for the experienced legal representation you need. We understand the challenges and concerns you face after a burn injury, and we go the extra mile to help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Call us today at 949-218-5676 to get started and schedule your free case evaluation with our top-rated Orange County burn injury attorneys.
The Irvine personal injury attorneys at Kubota & Craig stand ready to assist you.